Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal and Sat Bains are all famous for having kitchens that could double as laboratories. They haven’t quite thrown out all of their pots and pans in favour of a nice set of test tubes and beakers but when Mr Blumenthal manufactures sardines on toast made from icecream then you know that you are a long way from Mrs Beaton.
There is a great article about the science of cooking in The Times here. It will be a while yet before most home cooks have a cylinder of liquid nitrogen in the pantry next to the ketchup but it’s fascinating, if slightly disturbing, to learn that one of the principal ingredients of KY Jelly is fast becoming a staple of the store cupboard among the country’s more adventurous chefs.
The Times piece is good but if if you want to get really technical, there’s a more detailed article here. Who would have thought that ginger, bergamot, cocoa and mandarin are flavours that all work together becuause they all contain nery actetate?
Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go look out my Little Frankenstein Chemistry kit. I’m feeling peckish.